Editorial Note

Under cover of a circular instruction of January 12, 1948, sent to 29 United States missions in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, the Secretary of State transmitted for their information and guidance a Department of State memorandum of December 3, 1947, with attachments, none printed, recommending an interim civil aviation policy vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and the satellite countries of Eastern Europe. The interim policy would constitute an “important modification” of the existing policy, which had been worked out in a series of conferences in late 1946 between high-level officials of the Department of State, Department of Commerce, and Civil Aeronautics Board; had been formally adopted in March 1947 by the Air Coordinating Committee (the inter-departmental committee responsible for developing policies in the aviation field); and had been restated in a Department of State policy paper of July 18, 1947. The July paper called for continuance of American efforts to conclude bilateral air transport agreements with the Eastern European countries despite the unwillingness of the Soviet Union to conclude an air agreement with the United Staes. The December memorandum stated that an interim civil aviation policy had been developed in the Department of State which conformed to the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was to the general effect that the advantages of operating civil air routes into and through the Eastern European satellite countries were insufficient to warrant the time, effort, and money necessary to complete arrangements and actually operate the routes, particularly if no progress were thereby made to obtain access to the Soviet Union. (711.4027/1–1248)

United States civil aviation policy toward Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the post-war period and the interim aviation policy prepared in late 1947 are reviewed in the Report of the Conference on the Implementation of the Treaties of Peace, Rome, June 14–21, 1948, p. 448, and in document NSC 15/1, July 12, p. 451.